As has already become known, the tax authorities in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia want to uncover possible tax evasion cases in the crypto sector. To this end, it has requested information on investors who traded on the crypto exchange Bitcoin.de between 2015 and 2017.
The resulting data package is expected to name around 4,000 individuals who sold more than €50,000 annually. This initiative could also have consequences for Austria: Crypto tax expert Natalie Enzinger from crypto-tax. It explains why crypto investors in Austria could soon get mail from the tax office – and what to do in such a case.
The push from Germany could also put the Austrian tax authorities on notice for good reasons. On the one hand, there is the likelihood that the Bitcoin.de information contains data from Austrians. “If it turns out that someone is a resident of Austria, this will most likely not be ignored. As a rule, such information is shared with other financial administrations within the EU,” Enzinger says. In such a case, a reconciliation by the tax administration is only a matter of time. If it becomes apparent that nothing has been declared, an active inquiry follows.
On the other hand, an approach like Bitcoin.de could also trigger a domino effect in EU countries. “So far, cryptocurrencies have not been in the focus of the tax authorities, but if Germany takes such measures now, other countries might start similar initiatives sooner or later,” Enzinger says. In general, it is difficult to estimate how high the evaded taxes are in Austria in connection with cryptocurrencies, he said. Public figures on Austria are not available.
Enzinger suspects that cryptocurrencies account for a smaller share than other tax evasion forms. However, he said it would be easy for tax authorities to ask national crypto service providers for information and subsequently identify conspicuous individuals. “If one tie in with crypto exchanges, these steps could already be an essential aspect for checking the tax honesty of taxpayers in Austria,” says the crypto tax expert.